What I’ve been reading lately: the new and the notable

What I’ve been reading lately: the new and the notable

Welcome to Quick Lit, where we share short and sweet reviews of what we’ve been reading lately on the 15th of the month.

I’ve had a wonderful reading month, thanks to serendipitous selections (like two took-me-by-surprise titles you’ll see below) and a camping trip, which meant lots of time reading by the lake.

While today’s round-up leans heavily towards 2021 releases—including three out this month—I’ve enjoyed a nice mix of brand-new releases and older titles lately. (And I just started the forthcoming Louise Penny last night, so stay tuned …)

This is just a sampling of the books I’ve read since our last round of Quick Lit. If you’re interested in hearing more about my recent reads, I highly recommend tuning into my podcast What Should I Read Next. In a show about books, I can’t help but discuss my current reading. (I also share what I’m currently reading in our weekly podcast newsletter: if you aren’t already signed up, click here to get on the list.)

I can’t wait to hear about your recent reads in comments. 

Short and sweet reviews on what I’ve been reading lately

Midnight at the Blackbird Cafe

Midnight at the Blackbird Cafe

Author:
I've been meaning to read this for years and finally crossed it off my list this month. This sweet Southern story was described to me as a nice, heartwarming read, perfect for fans of Sarah Addison Allen. It begins when Anna Kate is summoned from her med school studies in Boston to a small Alabama town, because if she is to inherit the famed Blackbird Café her Granny Zee left her in her will, she first must run it for two months. Anna Kate has no intentions of getting sucked back in to small town life—especially not the small town of Wicklow, with its robust gossip network and magical blackbirds—but, well, you can guess what actually happens in a story like this. A fast, enjoyable read. More info →
Buy from Amazon Kindle
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The Other Black Girl

The Other Black Girl

I just finished rereading this (again) to prep for this week's episode of One Great Book. Full of twists, turns, and biting social commentary, this highly original (and highly discussable) debut novel will leave you with your jaw on the floor. Editorial assistant Nella Rogers is thrilled when Wagner Books hires another Black woman. Finally, she won’t be the sole Black voice at the publisher, she won’t endure microaggressions alone, and maybe she’ll even make some progress on her stalled-out racial diversity efforts. But new hire Hazel doesn’t turn out to be the ally and friend she expected. Meanwhile, threatening notes begin to appear on Nella’s desk, saying LEAVE WAGNER NOW. The atmosphere grows ever creepier as Nella tries to befriend Hazel, while surreptitiously investigating her past. The ending left me gobsmacked: I was desperate to discuss it with a fellow reader asap. More info →
Buy from Amazon Kindle
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Landslide

Landslide

Author:
This might be the best thing I read this month, but what to say about it? When her husband is confined to a Nova Scotia hospital after a terrible fishing accident, a mother not much older than me is left to parent her teenage boys—"the wolves"—alone. But things have been hard for a while now: in this insular Maine fishing community, the fish aren't biting like they once did. Money is perpetually tight. Not long before, the family was dealt a terrible blow, and one son is still wracked by grief. And even absent an immediate crisis, parenting teenage boys is grueling. I did not want to put this down, although I paused many times along the way to text my fellow parents of teenage boys. I loved the bracing portrayal of a family on the brink, the gripping tone that says with every line I'm not sure how I'll get through this. My whole heart was wrapped up in this short family story. More info →
Buy from Amazon Kindle
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The View Was Exhausting

The View Was Exhausting

This book was a delightful surprise. I'm so glad I picked it up! Theirs was a fake relationship forged to manipulate optics and better careers: born in London to Indian parents, A-list actress Win Tagore never knows how to describe herself in a way that will satisfy the press. She just knows that as a woman of color, a single mistake could ruin everything she's worked so hard to build. Trust fund kid Leo Milanowski never wants for money or attention, thanks to his hotelier parents. Love isn't on his radar—but he could use a friend. The two strike up a friendship when they're thrown together at a much-photographed gala, and Win's publicist transforms their connection into an on-again, off-again relationship—or at least that's how they engineer things to appear. But when someone starts to develop real feelings, their comfortable arrangement threatens to blow up—in the headlines. I listened to the audiobook, narrated by Tania Rodrigues, and it was wonderful. This is no rom-com: I'm curious how print readers feel, but the audiobook "read" very literary. I loved it. More info →
Buy from Amazon Kindle
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Bring Your Baggage and Don’t Pack Light: Essays

Bring Your Baggage and Don’t Pack Light: Essays

Author:
Happy book birthday to Helen Ellis's latest, which just came out on Tuesday. Ellis specializes in making light of the deadly serious: bad relationships and bad mammograms, getting older and losing those we love. But she does all this with the irreverent, razor-sharp wit fans of American Housewife and Southern Lady Code will remember. I'm so happy that Helen chose to write about her professional poker experience in "There’s a Lady at the Poker Table," and as a longtime Judy Blume fan of course I giggled (and cringed, because yikes) through "Are You There Menopause? It’s Me, Helen." More info →
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We Should All Be Millionaires: A Woman’s Guide to Earning More, Building Wealth, and Gaining Economic Power

We Should All Be Millionaires: A Woman’s Guide to Earning More, Building Wealth, and Gaining Economic Power

Author:
I'm grateful my friend Kendra put this business book on my radar. Rodgers's chief assertion is that money talks, and therefore until women—and particularly Black women—have economic power, equality will remain out of reach. She argues why it's good—both individually and collectively—for women to increase their incomes, and shares how she did it in her own life, and how you can do it, too. I found this to be illuminating as well as a lot of FUN to read; I loved Rodgers's smart and snappy style. When I finished my egalley, I promptly ordered the hardcover for my 14yo daughter, who's expressed a desire to learn more about money lately. (This will make a great companion to Ramit Sethi's I Will Teach You to Be Rich.) I can't wait to discuss it with her. More info →
Buy from Amazon Kindle
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The Arsonists’ City

The Arsonists’ City

Author:
File this one under "What Should I Read Next made me do it." When I recommended Alyan's debut to an upcoming WSIRN guest, I was reminded that she had a new book out, published in March. This new novel is significantly longer than Salt Houses, clocking in at nearly 500 pages and 20 hours of listening time, but I'm so glad I downloaded the audiobook anyway. I was quickly swept up in the story of the complicated Nasr family, with its Syrian mother, Lebanese father, and three adult children flung across the globe. If you enjoyed Marjan Kamali's The Stationery Shop, I urge you to consider The Arsonists' City for your TBR. Alyan's story, while a bit edgier (I'm thinking specifically of drug use), has a similar feel. Leila Buck's narration was outstanding. More info →
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What have YOU been reading lately? Tell us about your recent reads—or share the link to a blog or instagram post about them—in comments. 

P.S. How do you feel about long books? Where I get my best book recs, and 17 sparkling novels set on the stage or the screen.

more posts you might enjoy

91 comments | Comment

91 comments

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    • Nichole says:

      I *really* disliked the ending of “The Other Black Girl” – it felt a little too “Behind Her Eyes” (Sara Pinborough) for me, and personally I think that type of plot device is better suited for the screen than the page. Like, I don’t want to spend 6 hours across 400 pages with a character only to be told… I hope those who have read it can see where I am going! It felt cheap to me. But I do love seeing debut authors do so well, and it’s very well-received on Goodreads!

      I’m just getting into “The Henna Artist.” It was a slow start because I kept letting myself get hung up over the new terminology (the author did include a glossary in the back!), but I’ve let myself just go with the flow of the story and now I can’t put it down! ☺️

      • Amapola says:

        I agree with you on The Other Black Girl. It felt like a set up for a new show or maybe book series. I enjoyed the humor and social commentary of this writer, but the final part was rushed and left me unsatisfied.

        • Virginia Westlake says:

          I read quite a few similar reviews of this book on MMD book club, so I returned it to the library.

  1. I’m in the middle of reading The Other Black Girl and I’m really enjoying it. I have a couple more of the books you’ve read on my TBR, I guess they will be moving closer to the top.

    I enjoy reading books about books, books set in libraries and bookstores, and books about the craft of writing. I’ve rounded up several that I have read recently and enjoyed, and I think others might enjoy them too. There is something on this list for every book lover, along with a small/newish archive of other books related posts. Enjoy!

    https://sonovelicious.substack.com/p/books-about-books-bookstores-and

  2. I’m impatiently waiting on library holds for The Other Black Girl and Landslide. It sounds like they will be worth the wait!

    As for my own Quick Lit, it was a thriller heavy month, including three books set in the world of publishing! (Loved one, liked another, the third was a disappointment.) Also part of this month’s Quick Lit: my takes on the buzziest book of the summer as well as a beloved classic.

    https://kendranicole.net/july-2021-quick-lit-fiction-reads/

  3. Lis M says:

    I’ve heard such good things about the Arsonists City. Thanks for putting Landslide on my TBR list and bumping Heather Webb up it.

    I’ve been leaning into romances of all sorts like Seven Days in June + Very Sincerely Yours. I also read Something Wild by Hanna Halperin which is definitely one of my favorite books this summer.

    Here’s what I’ve been reading lately including read alouds with my kids and my husbands current read too

    https://www.everyoneslibrarian.com/blog/quick-lit-july

  4. Linda Stoll says:

    I can not put down Patti Callahan’s brand new Surviving Savannah. It literally is a page turner! If you loved Becoming Mrs. Lewis, grab this one.

    On The Bookbag, we’re having a beautiful conversation on developing gentle, tender spirits toward those who are broken or in crisis, with Jesus as our model. Gentle and Lowly is a deeply moving devotional read, a superb option for your personal quiet time … and an outstanding choice for your next Bible Study or Small Group.
    http://www.lindastoll.net/2021/07/on-cultivating-gentle-lowly-spirit.html

    • Beverly J Wrigglesworth says:

      I loved Becoming Mrs. Lewis! I have added Callahan’s latest to mount TBR. May I recommend for your spiritual reading Ken Ham’s The Lie: Evolution/Millions of Years. He does an excellent job of explaining how this lie has led to abortion, homosexual marriage, atheism in schools (from elementary to university), and other immorality in this age. He emphasizes the importance of believing in Genesis 1 – 11; the importance of believing God’s Word over man’s lies; and how Genesis is the basis for all of God’s Laws and morality. God Bless you!

  5. Adrienne says:

    My recent reads include:
    * Sparks Like Stars by Nadia Hashimi (4 stars) – I was captivated by the Afghanistan of the 1970’s which is so different from that seen on the news under the oppressive Taliban regime. This was a heartbreaking story, but I’m so glad I read this one.
    * A Beautiful Spy by Rachel Hore (3 stars) – An enjoyable story, and the audio version is well done. I did find the protagonists constant claims of “I cannot do this, I cannot go on…” to be so annoying though…
    * Mother May I by Joshilyn Jackson (4 stars) – I tore through this book in about 2 days. I really liked the main character, Bree, who is a great mix of toughness, strength, and vulnerability.
    * Reunion by Hannah Pitard (4 stars) – This was such a hard book for me to read. Like the protagonist, I had an extremely difficult relationship with my dad who also died very recently, and I could understand so many of her thoughts and feelings towards her father. But the story is just sad and hard, and filled with frail and tenuous relationships. I’m glad I read it, but I think this is not a book I will easily recommend to others.
    * The Survivors by Jane Harper (4.5 stars) – I listened to the audiobook, and was absolutely sucked into this story. So well done.
    * Waiting for Tom Hanks by Kerry Winfrey (3.5 stars) – A sweet, albeit predictable, romance.
    * Surviving Savannah by Patti Callahan (4 stars) – Very well done historical fiction about an event I had never heard of…..

    I’m currently reading The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave, and Eternal by Lisa Scottoline. Happy Reading!

  6. Paula Lee says:

    I just finished Field Notes from an Unintentional Birder from the Summer Reading Guide which I thoroughly enjoyed. I would also recommend The Summer Seekers by Sarah Morgan and When Books Went to War: The Stories that Helped Us Win World War II. The Wisteria Society of Lady Scoundrels was hilarious. I read it in a day. I loved The Stationery Shop, so I just requested The Arsonists’ City from the library.

  7. I really want to check out “The Other Black Girl” as does everyone else! The hold lists are so long at my libraries.

    My July reading life is off to a great start with a few of my summer reading picks – “Good Company” by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney, “The Mother-in-Law” by Sally Hepworth, and “Instant Karma” by Marissa Meyer. I also enjoyed a WWII story for my real life book club – “The Beantown Girls” by Jane Healey and finished a popular backlist title that just wasn’t for me.

    https://lifesapearl.com/what-ive-been-reading-lately-july-2021-quick-lit/

  8. Katie says:

    I just finished The Witch’s Heart by Genevieve Gornichec, which is a reimagining of Norse mythology. I really enjoyed this debut novel and can’t wait to see what this author writes next. I just started reading Ready Player Two. I loved the first one and have heard mixed reviews on the sequel.

    • Elisabeth says:

      The Witch’s Heart is on my TBR; it looks so good and I adore Norse mythology. As for Ready Player Two, I loved it almost as much as the first book. It’s still a great story with lots of references! However, I listened to both on audio with Wil Wheaton reading them, which is likely a different experience than print. 🙂

  9. Maridyth says:

    So far in July I’ve read Harry Potter books 5, 6, & 7 in order to keep up with my 13-year-old. I’ve also read “Rules of Civility” (because it’s a modern classic and I’ve loved Towels’ Gent in Moscow). I read “The Yellow Wife”—oh so difficult to read, but necessary to understand. Currently I’m in “The Last Thing He Told Me” and “The Nightingale,” which are difficult to put down!

  10. Jenna says:

    I just finished listening to Overseas by Beatriz Williams (my first by her, I think) and the time travel romance was just so delightful. Currently listening to The Wrong Family by Tarryn Fisher, and reading Almost Home by Pam Jennof. Finding it harder to carve out time to read this summer, sadly, so I’m grateful for audio books for sure!

  11. Kate says:

    Loved both the novel Oh William by Elizabeth Strout (ARC from NetGalley) and the memoir Wild Silence. Not for me, The Golddiggers, great writing but weird stuff and crime heist not my genre. Currently reading Home Made: a story of grief, groceries, showing up and what we make when we make dinner, about cooking classes with residents of a young men’s foster care housing facility

  12. Suzanne C says:

    I’m reading a book from last year’s Summer Reading Guide, The Unquiet Dead, by Ausma Zehanat Khan. So good! And I recently finished a book I heard recommended on the Currently Reading podcast, Greenwood, by Michael Christie- both of these are two of the best books I’ve read this year.

  13. Carolyn says:

    As usual my TBR just grew longer!

    I’ve had a great reading month, with hardly a miss in the bunch. I’m still slowly getting caught up on the Three Pines and Her Royal Spyness mystery series (read one of each). I really enjoyed The Accidental Beauty Queen, We Are All Completely Besides Ourselves, Musical Chairs, and The Storied Life of AJ Filkry. Slight missed were Florence Adler Swims Forever (I wanted more out of the ending) and The Last Thing He Told Me (quick read but didn’t get anything out of it). My top two books were The Other Black Girl (that ending!) and Young Jane Young (loved this on audio; lots to think about from this one). Next up is Summer of 69 for my beach vacation.

  14. Glad to see you liked “The View was Exhausting” – I think that was a book that your St. Louis friend Holland included in a book matching making post on IG. I think for those who loved “The 7 Husbands of Evelyn Hugo.” They’ve had some clever ‘if you like this then read this’ posts this summer!

    I just finished “Greenwood.” I loved it! The narrative structure was so interesting – it started in 2038, moved back to 1908, and then forward again to 2038 – like following the rings of a tree. Trees featured prominently in the book, too. It might be something Will would like?

  15. Maria Ontiveros says:

    Loved Malibu Rising; hated Hour of the Witch (both on audio). Currently reading Never Have I Ever by Joshslyn Jackson – really good so far – and also enjoying listening to Dread Nation by Justina Ireland, which does a great job of building an alternate reality that sweeps you in. Waiting (impatiently) for library holds on many MMD Summer Reading Guide titles but did just pick up Spark Like Stars.

  16. Courtney says:

    I love that you gave your daughter We Should All Be Millionaires. My 15 yr old daughter also recently became more interested in money. She decided to take a summer school personal finance class for a business credit and she has learned so much! From reading a pay stub to planning on how to pay down and consolidate debt, it has been so valuable. I highly recommend!

  17. Tracey says:

    Some here I already wanted to read and adding a couple more to the TBR!
    The best things I read this month were The Final Revival of Opal & Nev (thanks for that recommendation!) and Five Little Indians by Michelle Good, a novel about Indian Residential School survivors in British Columbia. Canadians continue to reckon with the terrible legacy of those schools and the many students that were killed or harmed there. While FLI is a hard read, it is an important one and the author does an excellent job of illustrating the varying impacts of trauma on survivors.

  18. Beth Gross says:

    I read Laura Vanderkam’s Juliet’s School of Possibilities, a book I’ve been wanting to read for a long time.

    After several false starts I finally got through A Gentleman in Moscow. I’m glad I came back to it. I had such a hard time getting into in the beginning, but enjoyed the last half immensely.

    On my blog I had a fun time revisiting some kid lit favorites in More Books Like the Penderwicks. https://purplecrayonyourworld.com/more-books-like-the-penderwicks/

  19. Monica Wilson says:

    I am on vacation and just finished reading “Miss Benson’s Beetle” on a recommendation from a friend. A quirky, adventurous, suspenseful tale of friendship between two very different women as they travel to the other side of the world to search for a golden beetle. Very enjoyable read!

  20. Melissa K says:

    I stumbled across a series I cannot believe I’ve not read before. It is completely up my alley – strong female main character, urban fantasy, mystery, quick and easy read…Karen Marie Moning’s Fever series. I suspect I will blow thru that really quickly as I am already 3 books in. And the best part? Because it has been around for a LONG time in book years (srsly, *how* have I missed this?), it is totally available on the virtual shelf, ready for me to consume like endless chips in a bowl.

  21. Shannon Navin says:

    Have you ever considered doing a 15 or 30 day schedule that you share with your readers for completing 4-5 books on a given post. I’m just now working through a post from BookRiot that lays out 6 books they recommend and how many pages to read from which book each day to complete them all in 15 days. I find it so motivating and I’m going to add 6 books to my list in just 1/2 a month! AND…they are great titles! I just loved the idea and thought I might suggest it!

  22. Cathi says:

    The only book I’ve read in July is A Splendid Ruin by Megan Chance and it was a 4.5 🌟 for me! So, so good!! Currently reading Malibu Rising and really enjoying it so far.
    Have several of your reads in my TBR pile and added Landslide.

  23. Sandy says:

    My last month or so of reading:
    Time After Time, Lisa Grunwald, a wonderful ghost story/romance novel
    The Subversive Simone Weil: a life in five ideas, Robert Zaretsky
    The Glass Hotel, Emily St. John Mandel
    When the Stars Go Dark, Paula McLain (a crime novel)
    The Smallest Lights in the Universe, a memoir, by astrophysicist Sara Seager
    How to Marry a Marquis, Julia Quinn, on Hoopla
    Everything and the Moon, Julia Quinn, on Hoopla
    The Venice Sketchbook, Rhys Bowen
    Brighter than the Sun, Julia Quinn, on Hoopla

  24. I just finished the Wilder Girls from Rory Power and wow, it was not what I expected. Or maybe it was more than I expected? I did enjoy it though I thought the ending was a bit rushed and unfinished. Who knew “feminist horror” was a genre????!

  25. Michelle Wilson says:

    I am not sure what is up but I have DNFd The Other Black Girl twice this summer. I tried earlier this summer as a SRG book and just recently for my Well Read Black Girl book group. I don’t know what it is but I just keep putting it down. I own the book so I will give it another try later.

    • Margaret says:

      I was very disappointed by The Other Black Girl. Anne’s description sounds perfect for a book club, but I did not find the story suspenseful or surprising (how did I miss a jaw-dropping twist?!). As we all know, every book is not for every reader… but I hope I find some more people who didn’t like this book. 🙂

  26. I’m still having a terribly slow reading year for me due to me trying to run a new business. I did finish The Turquoise Table, and I will likely finish The Lazy Genius Way and People We Meet on Vacation within the week. The Turquoise Table is a book I’ve had on my radar for years, ever since I saw a piece by the author in a magazine (Real Simple, maybe?). It’s basically all about how she decided to build a sense of community by putting a turquoise picnic table out into her front yard and then doing everything that families usually do in the backyard (like eating, playing, etc.) out in the front instead, as a way to meet people. A really cool concept, and one I’ve been thinking about for years.

  27. Christina says:

    These look like some great book ideas, Anne! Thanks!
    Along the lines of financial books, you might be interested in You are a Badass at Making Money by Jen Sincero (if you haven’t already read it). Or, for a parenting bent on finances: Smart Money, Smart Kids by Rachel Cruze and Dave Ramsey. I’ve read both this year. They’re very different styles, but both good!

    My recent reads are right here: http://alookatabook.com/2021/07/15/july-2021-recent-reads/

    Lots of fantasy and some historical fiction, since those are my go-to genres for relaxation.

  28. Sara Fairchild says:

    I recently finished 2 newly published books from NetGalley. “The Kingdoms” by Natasha Pulley, where I enjoyed the idea behind the book but disliked the ending. Also, “Assassin’s Orbit” by John Appel which had great action and tech, but so many characters I had a hard time keeping them straight.

  29. Jessica says:

    What a great list! The Other Black Girl and The Arsonists’ City are in my TBR stacks already (moving them closer to the top!), and I just added some of the others to my list. I’ve had a pretty good reading month – a couple of misses, but also some really great books. Some of my favorites so far have been Lizzie & Dante by Mary Bly, The Removed by Brandon Hobson, Infinite Country by Patricia Engel and The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot by Marianne Cronin. I just started Well Played by Jen DeLuca for something lighter – hoping for a good block of time tonight to get into it!

  30. Stacy says:

    Hi Anne. Just finished the audio of The Whispering House by Elizabeth Brooks. It was a slow burn for me. It was actually my first ever audio book 😊. I am currently reading One Lost Soul by JM Dagliesh on my Kindle and enjoying it. British murder mysteries are my bag. Next week I’m starting a Nora Roberts reading challenge hosted by BooksLikeWhoa YouTube. I’m intrigued as I’ve yet to read Nora Roberts. I’ve selected The Obsession and her first under J.D. Robb Named in Death. Are these good ones to start with?

    • That reading challenge does sound intriguing! It’s been awhile but I used to really enjoy her In Death mystery series. My favorites of her romances would be the Circle Trilogy, Three Sisters Island, and her Chesapeake Bay Saga. I hope you enjoy your picks!

    • Susan says:

      Stacy,
      I have all of the J.D. Robb series and you definitely want to begin with Naked in Death. The characters are built and grow over time through the series. Superb series.

  31. Julianne says:

    Just finished Anxious People by Fredrik Backman- recommendation from my oldest daughter- quirky story, not what you expect and it was great! Several turns and very much people oriented- emotional and relationship oriented while weaving a “crime” story/ great read, highly recommend.

  32. Beth says:

    The Arsonist’s City is already in my library hold queue and so excited to hear that it is going to be a good read. Landslide also looks intriguing, thanks for the tip! I look forward to listing to One Great Book, I enjoyed The Other Black Girl.

  33. Sara Tajeldin says:

    Your choices of books sound interesting. I put them on my TBR list. I just finished Elizabeth Brooks the whispering house. Oh my God. I could not put the book down first I was anxious to see what was going to happen then I didn’t want to find out what happened either. Do you want to find out what happens read this book. You won’t be disappointed.

  34. Mary Ann Christman says:

    I was lucky enough to get my hands on an ebook of The Other Black Girl through the library and I think I am in the minority here, but I didn’t love it. The jumping around between characters early on and trying to figure out who they were was a little confusing, and I didn’t like the ending. I also just finally got around to The Happy Ever After Playlist, from last summer’s reading guide, and it was cute. I am currently reading Stephen King’s Doctor Sleep.

  35. Rebecca Ferber says:

    I just finished reading “Snow Flower and the Secret Fan” by Lisa See. It was recommended to me by a friend who said this is one of her top favorite books. I was actually a little nervous, because my friend reads a lot of quiet, character-driven novels and I tend to go for the fast paced thrillers. Well, this book was absolutely AMAZING! I suppose it would be described as character-driven and at times it was maybe a little bit quiet. But then BAM, the author throws something completely bananas into the story and you’re totally shocked and rushing to read more and more and more! That happened in almost every chapter. Truly incredible story of two (fictional) Chinese women in the 19th century, from 6 years old through the end of their lives. This story will stay with me forever and the author’s note at the end explained a lot of her research, which was super interesting.

  36. Tiff M L says:

    I am reading My Calamity Jane and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn in paper format, and I am listening to HP Book 7 on audio (I’m about halfway through).

    Not sure what fantasy book to listen to next – one of her others, like Fantastic Beasts, or CS Lewis trilogy are my strongest options.

  37. Elizabeth says:

    Just read The Dry and Force of Nature by Jane Harper, and starting Upright Women Wanted by Sarah Gailey. Finally showed up in my library holds!

  38. Teresa says:

    I just finished Surviving Savannah by Patti Callahan and could not put it down.
    I also am rereading the Anne of Green Gables series and just finished Anne of Windy Poplars. And this year I discovered Katherine Reay, so I just finished The Portrait of Emily Price—it was another one that I could not put down. There is something about her writing that I love!
    In non-fiction I finished Killers of the Flower Moon about the Osage murders in the 1920s and the birth of the FBI. So interesting.

  39. Nicole Eitzen says:

    This last month between audio and paper bookI finished Code Name Helene, Too Good to Be True, The Hunting Wives, People We Meet on Vacation, Beartown and its follow up book Us Against You, Before She Disappeared, and In a Book Club Far Away. So grateful for your lists gives me so many great ideas!

  40. Janice Hoaglin says:

    Books I have finished this month that I have loved:
    Leaving Coy’s Hill by Katherine A. Sherbrooke–this is a fictionalized account of the life of Lucy Stone, an abolitionist and proponent of women’s suffrage. Ms. Stone spoke all over the country in support of both movements, and after the Civil War for the right to vote for all blacks, and for all women. This is written so well, it was a captivating read.
    Migrations by Charlotte McConaghy–this is set in the very near future, when most of the earth’s wildlife has gone extinct. Franny, a young woman who is the central character, is on a quest to follow the last few Arctic terns on their migration from the far northern regions of the globe, to their other home in the Antarctic. Franny is a complex character with a troubling past, which is slowly revealed as the story unfolds and the voyage continues. This one is beautifully written.
    Afterlife, by Julia Alvarez–about a woman who is recently widowed, and recently retired from her job as a professor of English literature. Antonia Vega’s head is full of quotes from all her favorite literary reads, and also of the voices of her three sisters, who are also great characters in this story.

  41. Jaclyn says:

    I recently read a debate historical fiction called “Jeni Finds Safety.” I enjoyed it and am currently reading an ARC of the second book “Sarah Finds Freedom.” The characters are so loveable and the hopeless romantic in me is in heaven.

    Thanks for your posts/blogs/emails. I started your reading challenge a few years ago and have loved it. Thanks for ALL your do. My TBR list happily grows with each new email.

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